This month Northwestern University‘s Sigma Xi will offer two Junior Science Cafés, one on Sept. 25 at The Loft at the Library,

1703 Orrington Ave.

and another on Sept. 26 at Boocoo Cultural Center,

1823 Church St

. These free events are for students in grades 6 – 12, their parents, grandparents and teachers.  All are welcome, free admission, snacks are provided. For the entire schedule of Junior Science Cafés, go to


Friday Café:  Alien Visitors: Fact or Fiction?

With Dr. Mark Hammergren, Adler Astronomer and Director of AstroScience Workshop

What are the chances of ‘it’ based upon what we know about our universe?  Are we alone?  If the galaxies are teeming with life, why haven’t they visited us yet?  Or have they?!

 Come on over to the Loft at the library (1703 Orrington Ave.) from 4 to 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25  to learn new “stuff” before your weekend starts and you’re guaranteed to have something fun to talk about with your friends!


Saturday Café: Nanotech: Big Ideas from Small Ideas

With Professor Michael Davis, Physical Science Department, Harold Washington College

Come to the Junior Science Café from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Boocoo Cultural Center,

1823 Church St.

, to learn “What’s Your Nano IQ?”

Apple’s smallest iPod the ‘Nano’ has become a household word.  Most scientists have known about that little word for a very long time.  Nano is the metric prefix for billionth, a nanometer is one billionth of a meter.  So what is the big deal about something so small?

 It’s all about the tiniest materials and their very different physical and chemical characteristics from materials that are typically sized.  Normal sized gold, for example, looks gold-colored.  Nanogold, however, is either red or blue!

 Nanotechnology deals with the size and shape dependent properties of particles that are less than 100nm in their largest dimension.  It has touched almost every aspect of daily life: computers, Band-Aids, make-up, stain resistant pants and more.